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Toronto-area Ethnic Newspapers and Canada's 2011 Federal Election: An Investigation of Content, Focus and Partisanship

  • April Lindgren (a1)

Abstract

Canada's political class is embracing ethnocultural news media with increasing zeal, highlighting the need to understand the role of these news organizations in the political process. This study investigated coverage of Canada's 2011 federal election in five Toronto-area ethnocultural newspapers. The publications, which carried campaign news to varying degrees, provided coverage that was distinct in many ways from mainstream media. Content such as the focus on ingroup candidates had the potential to strengthen community bonds while more general election news equipped readers with information that would facilitate participation in society through informed voting. Analysis of reporting about the Conservative Party of Canada, which pursued an aggressive ethnic media strategy, identified no clear pattern of stories with explicitly biased content. In most newspapers, however, the CPC did enjoy an advantage in that it received more coverage than the competition.

La classe politique du Canada tient compte avec de plus en plus de zèle des médias ethnoculturels, soulignant la nécessité de comprendre le rôle que jouent ces organismes de presse dans le processus politique. Cette étude examine la couverture de l'élection fédérale du Canada de 2011 en examinant cinq journaux ethnoculturels de la région de Toronto. Ces journaux, qui publiaient des nouvelles de la campagne à des degrés divers, ont présenté une couverture qui se distinguait en plusieurs points des grands médias nationaux. Le contenu qui mettait l'accent sur les candidats du groupe d'appartenance avait le potentiel de renforcer les liens avec leur communauté ethnoculturelle alors que les nouvelles traitant de l'élection de manière plus générale avaient le potentiel d'outiller les lecteurs en fournissant de l'information qui faciliterait leur participation à la société canadienne, leur permettant ainsi de faire un vote plus éclairé. L'analyse des contenus médiatiques sur le Parti conservateur du Canada, qui a mis en œuvre une stratégie agressive à l'égard des médias ethniques, n'a pas permis de dégager de tendance nette où les nouvelles seraient explicitement biaisées à la faveur de ces groupes. Cependant, dans la plupart de ces journaux, le PCC a profité d'une couverture plus large que ses adversaires.

Copyright

Corresponding author

School of Journalism, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3, Email: April.lindgren@ryerson.ca

References

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